Michael J. Opuda, Ph.D.

Senior Special Education Consultant

Michael J. Opuda, Ph.D.

Senior Special Education Consultant

Phone: 207.253.0548 Fax: 603.716.2899 Email: mopuda@dwmlaw.com

670 N. Commercial Street, Suite 207 Manchester, NH 03101

Assistant: Ceara Kazilionis Email: ckazilionis@dwmlaw.com


For over 40 years, Michael Opuda has dedicated his work to the special education field. Michael is a non-attorney special education consultant who works thoughtfully with superintendents, special education directors, special education case managers, and teachers to help resolve conflicts and develop the best possible outcome in each case. He was drawn to this field after working as a laboratory technician in the psychology department, where he helped establish one of the earliest token economy/behavioral management programs in a school for students with disabilities. Since then, he has served as a teacher, administrator, employee, adjunct professor, a consultant to the Maine Department of Education, and a consultant to the USDOE and other state department of education.

Michael’s broad expertise and almost-encyclopedic special education knowledge brings tremendous value to his clients. He delivers wide-ranging support including facilitation of hundreds of IEP team meetings, answering compliance questions, troubleshooting complicated cases, providing in-service training, developing IEPs, resolving disputes, conducting program reviews, and advising on the needs of students with challenging behaviors in school.A recognized thought leader in this space, Michael has given many presentations to local, state, and national conferences on special education law and practice. He received the President’s Award from Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities and a Commendation from the Maine Department of Education.

In his free time, Michael loves being in the “backwoods” as much as possible, fly fishing, skiing, camping, kayaking or just puttering around and exploring. He has served his community as a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, as an Advisory Committee member for the Consortium for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Education and as Board Chair for a provider of in-home and community supports for children and adults with disabilities.


Virginia Tech, Ph.D., 1999

University of Maine, M.Ed, 1987

University of Maine, B.A., 1973


President’s Awards – MADSEC

Maine Department of Education Commendation for facilitated rule making process


Risky Business: The Risks of Risk Assessment, School Law Advisory, Spring 2013

Maine Special Educations Regulations, 1988 – 2000

PH.D. Dissertation – Factors That Contribute To Parent School Conflict In Special Education

Transfer of Matching to Sample in Pigeons – Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 1974


Council for Exceptional Children

Community/Public Service

Advisory Committee of the Consortium for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Education (CADRE)

Council for Exceptional Children, Annual Conference

Past Presentation

From November 22, 2019 12:00 pm

BALANCING ACT! Making the Laws Fit for Students with Behavior Challenges

From December 2, 2016 12:00 pm

Making the Grade in Special Education: Measuring Success, Eligibility, and the Delivery of FAPE in a Standards World

From July 12, 2016 12:00 am

2016 Maine Special Education Law Institute

From December 4, 2015 12:00 pm

The Worst in Special Education – Presented in Partnership with MADSEC